Arab, Muslim states urge truce in Syria for Eid feast

CAIRO (AFP) - The Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation jointly appealed on Tuesday to warring parties in Syria to observe a ceasefire during next week's feast of Eid al-Fitr.

In their statement, the Arab League's Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi and his OIC counterpart Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu appealed for "a ceasefire and a cessation of violence in all its forms for the duration of the holy Eid al-Fitr holiday".

They said such a ceasefire would give "the Syrian people the chance to celebrate this important religious occasion, and to perform its rituals in peace and security".

The road to "a political solution to the crisis that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people... remains riddled with obstacles", the statement said.

A ceasefire in Syria "may bring an opportunity for calm, and to help overcome those obstacles", the Arab League and OIC said, adding that a truce could also allow humanitarian aid agencies to work in areas affected by violence.

The Arab and Islamic organisations, meanwhile, called on "all the regional and international stakeholders to support this appeal, and on the Syrian government... to show wisdom and to stop the killing and destruction".

The United Nations says that more than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria's raging war.

Earlier in July, UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged a truce for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, although there was no response to his appeal.

A proposed truce for Eid last year fell through after it failed completely to stop the violence.

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